Involuntary Homeschool (You’ve Got This!)
COVID-19 is here and it isn’t messing around. We have been watching the news around the world. Watching schools close around us and *BAM*, our governor just announced that our schools are going to be closed until at least April 24.
First, breathe. Seriously, before you go any further, take one full minute and just BREATHE.
During this time, we need to keep it simple because we are in the position of homeschooling our kids for the next 6 weeks. Some schools have remote schooling plans in place, others don’t. I can assure you, they will provide you with resources. In case they don’t, turn to Khan Academy.
In addition, many of us will be working from home while attempting to manage our kids’ days. This is where easy is better. Take a moment to tell yourself that you will do the best you can at a reasonable rate.
The good news is…we’ve got your back. I am pooling together a group of my favorite moms and we are bringing BonBon Break back to help you through this. You. Are. Not. Alone. People have been homeschooling for a long time and we can, too.
10 Helpful Tips While Staying Home Due to COVID-19
Get on a Schedule.
Monday – Friday set up a schedule and stick to it. Wake up at the hour of your choice, have everyone get ready and get started.
Physical Activity Twice a Day (at least)
Your kids have energy to burn. In your schedule, have at least 2 45-minute sections where your kids are going to move. Break out the Wii and do a little Just Dance, start up some yoga, play some hoops, build a garden or a fort, but just move. We have TONS of activities for kids to get your creative juices flowing. Just remember, keep it simple.
Build-in some quiet time. You can’t go go go all day long for 6 weeks. This is a marathon, not a race. Build-in downtime. You will all need it. Listen to an audiobook (Audible has been a lifesaver in our family for years), play some chill music, read or…
This is our FAVORITE section. Did you know that your kids can teach themselves how to play piano on YouTube?!? It’s true! Get a keyboard and you’ll be amazed. This qualifies as the best type of screen time. Start painting, drawing, beadwork or our favorite KNITTING! This video series will get you started and hooked! If you need yarn, visit one of these stores (Island Wools or Fillory Yarn). Hours of satisfaction and fun.
Set Snack Times
You know they will eat you out of house and home before you can blink an eye. Save your budget and teach your kids to make snacks. Two birds with one stone.
Partner up with another family and set a time for your kids to chat via video conferencing using Google Meet, Skype or Zoom. Just like school, this is monitored time. Skip the texting and go for face-to-face chatting.
Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky shared this with his synagogue and it was shared in a newsletter that I read and it really spoke to me. Now I am sharing it with you and I hope you will keep it moving forward. During times of isolation, it is easy to lose our connections. Facetime or Skype a friend instead of texting or call them. We still need to “see” one another.
“Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place.”
“Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern.”
“Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise.”
Beware of Screen Time
This is an easy time to hand over the tablets and fill the void. Challenge yourself and your kids to only use your devices to create or learn something.
Let your kids help you prepare dinner. Multiple kids? Each one gets a night. Having a Sous Chef along your side is a great chance for them to learn and for you to get a hand.
Turn off the News
I am not saying to turn off the world. Definitely check-in, but turn it off so you don’t get emotionally burned out.
If you are not a teacher, don’t expect to know allthethings. Use your resources and let your kids connect with their classmates (via phone/video) to answer questions. Google is your friend and we will be sharing resources as we go through this journey. Take mental health breaks and know that this is temporary (or maybe you end up loving it!).
Keep it up. You need that time for yourself at night (or in the AM). Do something self-indulgent and if that thing is going to bed at the same time, do it. There is no need to wear a cape through this adventure. Just take it one day at a time and know that we are here for you!
Also, check out Common Sense Media. They are chockful of GREAT resources for families. Here is their latest list:
|Media recommendations for entertainment|
Hand-picked, age-appropriate media suggestions to keep the whole family engaged.
Best Music Apps and Games for Kids
New Kids’ TV Shows
50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They’re 12
Best Family Movies
Common Sense Selections highlighting the best movies and TV shows
Sibling Watch-Together TV
Best Documentaries for Kids and Families
|Resources for at-home learning|
Tools to help parents and caregivers keep kids focused and learning at home.
17 Apps to Help Kids Stay Focused
Apps That Act Like Math and Science Tutors for Homework Help
Free Educational Apps, Games, and Websites
Top Time-Management Apps
When everything feels overwhelming, check out tips for taking in rapidly changing news. De-stress together with meditation apps for kids and families. Get the blood flowing and elevate the mood with these 25 dance games (you might need to buy a special control from Amazon). Apps, websites, and video games that inspire running, jumping, and more to stay active. Don’t forget to enjoy a device-free dinner or two.
|You can always visit commonsensemedia.org or commonsense.org/education for more resources and support.|